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"Identity Thief": Madcap Anti-Capitalist Hijinks 

Wednesday, Feb 6 2013
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Considering the way Fox News raked The Muppets over the coals for its supposed anti-capitalist themes, a similar outrage seems likely when they see Seth Gordon's Identity Thief. It implies that Ayn Rand acolytes are not very nice, and that their business practices have created a system in which people like the adorably amoral Diana (Melissa McCarthy) are compelled to steal the identity of people like family-man financier Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman). As a comedy, it hits all the expected beats: Sandy tracks down Diana and takes her on a road trip to justice, during which they have wacky adventures and learn to respect each other ... and maybe even themselves. Identity Thief is unexpectedly thoughtful about the current economic climate — note all the foreclosed houses on Diana's street — and it also mines some genuine laughs, at least when it aims higher than slapstick violence, jokes about McCarthy's weight (fat people falling down is funny!), or the gender ambiguity of the name "Sandy." And there are plenty of great character actors on hand, such as Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks as a crime boss, and Robert Patrick as a skip tracer who would fit in perfectly on Justified. Most importantly, watching Identity Thief is more fun than reading The Fountainhead, and better for you!

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Sherilyn Connelly

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